Which Degree? Which Branch? Which IIT?

Congratulations on clearing JEE Advanced 2024!

Choosing the branch and college that best fits you is an important decision. We have been there, and we know that it can be very confusing. We’ve written a helpful guide for you, but do note that we are equipped with only IIT Madras-specific information.

Last year’s Ranks

First things first: Bookmark these two pages: JOSAA offical site with 2023 Opening & Closing rank and Rankmatrix. They will give you an idea of what courses you could have gotten with your rank last year, and is a decent predictor for what you may get this year.

Be warned: (a) Opening and Closing ranks change every year. For example, IIT Madras closing ranks saw a 10% jump last year, and we expect another 10% this year. (b) Do not let your seniors’ choices decide who you will be - you are more than your rank.

Courses offered by IIT Madras

This section lists the courses offered by IIT Madras and some information about them, with helpful links.

Branch Information
AI & Data Analytics (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The AI & Data Analytics B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is new! This is the first year it is being offered. The department that offers it - the Department of Data Science & Artificial Intelligence (DSAI) - is headed by one of India’s top data scientists, Prof. Ravindran. The course is a 4-year course that ensures that students build a thorough mathematical foundation, ML/AI Models, learning models & statistical inference, data acquisition & pre-processing, and systems thinking. A few links: Dept website, AskIITM page
Aerospace Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) (5 years, Bachelor of Technology and Master of Technology, Dual Degree) The Aerospace Engineering B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is a 4-year course which imparts fundamentals essential for a career involving the design, analysis, construction, testing and operation of airplanes, helicopters, rockets, and spacecraft. The dept has recently been in the news because its faculty and alumni are founders in India’s top aero and space startups - ePlane company, Agnikul Cosmos, GalaxEye, and Hyperloop. Helpful links: Dept website
Chemical Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The Chemical Engineering B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is a 4-year comprehensive course, spanning various areas, including mathematical methods, thermodynamics, reaction engineering, heat and mass transport, and process control. Chemical engineering is separate from Chemistry, and careers in core engineering may be in companies like Shell, Reliance, Bayer, and so on. Helpful links: Dept website
Civil Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The Civil Engineering B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is a 4-year course that includes planning, design, construction, and management. The department works closely with various private and public agencies, participates in policymaking, and advises on the latest technologies for implementation in civil engineering and allied areas. One of this department’s coolest projects recently emerged is the “3-D printed concrete buildings” technology. Helpful links: Dept website
Computer Science and Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The Computer Science & Engineering B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is a 4-year course-oriented undergraduate program that includes programming, data structures, algorithms, and operating systems. This is one of the most sought-after programs among all IITs, so we don’t really need to give much of an introduction. :slightly_smiling_face: Helpful links: Dept website
Electrical Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The Electrical Engineering B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is a 4-year course-based undergraduate program taught by faculty members with active research interests and significant industrial ties. It aims to provide a strong foundational education so students can pursue research or a career in the tech industry. This department is known for amazing work across fields, including pioneering work in 4G and 5G technology. Note that IIT-M offers 1 EE degree with covers courses from EE and ECE and EEE. Most recently, the limelight has been focussed on an alumnus called Arvind Srinivas, who chose to do a few AI and Data Science electives, went abroad, and started a company called Perplexity.ai which competes with Google Search! Helpful links: Dept website
Engineering Physics (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The Engineering Physics B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is a 4-year degree that aims to strengthen the scientific basis of engineering, particularly electrical engineering. A variety of core courses emphasize the fundamentals while keeping in mind the evolving nature of subjects, along with a strong laboratory component that allows one to explore a range of experiments, from classic ones to those that are more recent and advanced. EP is considered to have some course overlap with Physics and EE. Helpful links: Dept website
Biological Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The Biological Engineering B.Tech program at IIT Madras is a 4-year course that brings together engineering principles and molecular life sciences to develop and operate biology-based technologies in diversified fields such as energy, environment, bioprocesses, biomaterials, diagnostics, biopharmaceuticals, and food processing. Helpful links: Dept website
Biological Science (4 years, Bachelor of Science) The Biological Science BS program at IIT Madras is a 4-year course that provides a strong foundation in biological sciences. It encompasses the study of living organisms and life processes at all levels, including individual organisms, tissues, cells, subcellular structures, and molecules. Helpful links: Dept website
Mechanical Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The Mechanical Engineering B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is a 4-year course focusing on the principles, design, operation, and maintenance of machines and their components. Mech encompasses various subfields like engines, vehicles, power systems, robotics, materials, etc. Most mechanical engineers are broad generalists who specialize in a particular field. Helpful links:Dept website
Metallurgical and Materials Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The Metallurgical & Materials Engineering B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is a 4-year degree designed to balance the depth of knowledge acquired through specialization and the breadth of knowledge gained through exploration. The department hosts state-of-the-art processing and characterisation facilities, including excellent computational infrastructure. Helpful links: Dept website
Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering (4 years, Bachelor of Technology) The Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering B.Tech. program at IIT Madras is a four-year degree that provides students with industrial requirements and trains them to be experts in existing and future specialized fields. The department is dedicated to providing top-notch instruction, research, and training programs while assisting the maritime sectors in their quest to flourish. The lab facilities for this department are the best in the country! Helpful links: Dept website
Engineering Design (5 years, Bachelor of Technology and Master of Technology, Dual Degree) The Engineering Design Dual Degree program at IIT Madras is a five-year degree that aims to develop design professionals with a strong multidisciplinary background and a deep sense of aesthetics with a focus on automotive engineering, biomedical design, and robotics. The founders of Ather Energy, Tarun Mehta, and Swapnil Jain, famously founded Ather in this department’s labs. Helpful links: Dept Website
Physics (5 years, Bachelor of Science and Master of Technology, DualDegree) The Physics B.Sc. and M.Sc Dual Degree program at IIT Madras is a five-year degree that aims to build a strong foundation in Physics while considering the evolving nature of subjects. The program has a strong laboratory component that allows one to explore a range of experiments, from classic ones to those that are more recent and advanced, and various advanced elective courses that offer a glimpse into frontier areas of research and allow for one to choose a topic for the one-year project. Prof V Balakrishnan’s lectures are taught here, and his recorded lectures are still extremely popular online. For more information, please visit Dept website

Criteria for selection

The choice of a career is a very personal one. Hence, we recommend doing as much research as possible to make an informed decision you will be proud of. Here are some factors considered by other students:

1. NIRF:

About one-third of students who come to IIT Madras come to study at the “best institute.” IIT Madras has been NIRF #1 for more than five years now, which is sufficient for them. Even in global rankings, IIT Madras has performed well and is improving at a fabulous speed.

Some details: The National Institutional Ranking Framework, or NIRF uses 5 broad parameters - Teaching and Learning Resources, Research Productivity, Graduation Outcomes, Outreach and Inclusivity, and Perception to rank IITs and NITs. You can read more about why NIRF rankings matter, here.

2. Location:

A few students like to be closer to their family; others prefer to be as far as possible. Some may prefer living in a big city, while others may prefer being away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Did you know that IIT Madras is located within a natural forest and that we share our campus with more than 200 spotted deer, 20 black bucks, monkeys, and birds? We live amongst nature, yet within the city of Madras, within 10 km of the beach, various malls, an airport, and a metro station.

3. Academic interest:

Are you keen to be a rocket scientist or an AI engineer, or do you want to build something cool? If you know what you want, then you should search accordingly. Focus your energies to research on which IIT is the best for rocketry, or AI, or whatever it is that you’re very keen on.

It’s weird to say this, but “All IITs are the same, but each IIT is different,” meaning that broadly, they are the same, but they are different in specific ways - including branches, research areas, access to jobs, entrepreneurship support, etc.

4. Placements and Outcomes:

After JEE, and before admission, it feels like the question “what will I get after this course” is a very important question. And for that, we have some links for you to read up on: Outcomes website | Placement statistics.

We want to remind you that all IIT Madras students do really well in life. Some get the outcomes they want immediately after college and others choose to take a longer path. Consider the journey of Ather founders Tarun and Swapnil. They got jobs after graduation, but quit within a year to start their own company. It took them more than 5 years to build a great product, and a further few years to become a successful automobile company. Maybe that will be your story too?

5. Academic flexibility, Electives, Minors, IDDD:

As you move along your years at university, you will develop new interests and want to learn more about fields other than your branch. Having the opportunity to choose your electives and pursue minors can be very beneficial in such cases.

Therefore, always remember to check how much academic flexibility the institute offers. IIT Madras always had great academic flexibility with students being able to choose 40-50% of their courses, so that checks out! You can read about IITM’s new academic initiatives to increase this even more.

In this context, also check out the extensive list of electives, minors, and Interdisciplinary Dual Degree (IDDD) programs offered.

6. Unique and NEW departments:

Recent years have seen IITs introduce new courses geared towards current market demands and pressing problems, such as the IIT Madras BS in Medical Science & Technology, IIT Indore’s B.Tech. in Space Science & Engineering, IIT Bombay’s new Interdisciplinary Dual Degree Programme (IIDDP) in Quantum Technology, and IIT Kanpur’s Department of Sustainable Energy Engineering.

Being part of a new department means there is a new energy in the air, everybody is excited and you might get a chance to make a mark in a new field.


Phew, that was a long article. But your journey is hard, and you need to soak in all the information you can. Whenever you need help, come to us - at the askiitm community website - and we will help. All the best!